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Full text of "Farryn Johnson Hooters complaint, filed with Md. Commission on Civil Rights"

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11EE0C Form 5 (11/09} 



Charge of Discrimination 

This form is affected by the Privacy Acl of 1 974. See enclosed Privacy Act 
Statement and other Information before completing this form. 



Charge Presented To: 
[X] FEPA 
[ ] EEOC 



Agency(ies) Charge No(s): 



Maryland Commission on Civil Rights 



and EEOC 



Slate or local Agency* if any 



Name (indlcete Mr., Ms.. Mrs.) 
Ms. Farryn Johnson 



Home Ptione (incl. Area Code) 



Date of Birth 



Street Ac dress 



City, State and ZIP Code 



Named is the Employer, Labor Organization, Employment Agency, Apprenticeship Committee, or State or Local Government Agency That I Believe 
Discriminated Against Me or Others. (If more than two, list under PARTICULARS below.) 



Name 

Hooters of America, LLC 



No, Employees. Members 

Over 501 



Phone No. (Include Area Code) 
(770) 951-2040 



Street Address 

1815 The Exchange, Atlanta, GA 30339 



City, State and ZIP Code 



Name 

Hooters of Harborplace, LLC 


No. Employees, Members 

Over 50 


Phone No_ (Include Area Code) 

(410) 244-0367 


301 Light Street, Suite 173, Baltimore, MD 21202 



DISCRIMINATION BASED ON (Check appropriate box{e&).) 
1C1 RACE | | COLOR [ | SEX 



□ 



[ ] RETALIATION [ 

[ "1 OTHER (Specify} 



AGE 



□ 



RELIGION 
DISABILITY 



□ 



□ 



NATIONAL ORIGIN 
GENETIC INFORMATION 



DATE{S) DISCRIMINATION TOOK PLACE 
Earliest Latest 

6/30/13 8/23/13 



\_^\ CONTINUING ACTION 



THE PARTICULARS ARE (If additional paper is needed, attach extia sheet(s)): 

Farryn Johnson brings this charge against Hooters of America, LLC and Hooters of Harborplace, LLC 
{collectively, "Hooters") to oppose Hooters' imposition of racially discriminatory terms and conditions of 
employment and Hooters' termination of her employment because of her race. As described below, Hooters 
maintains discriminatory standards governing how African-American Hooters Girls must maintain their hair. 
While non-African-American Hooters Girls with naturally brown or black hair may wear blond streaks in their 
hair or dye their hair red, Hooters prohibits African-American Hooters Girls from wearing blond highlights in 
their hair. Similarly, Hooters prohibits African-American Hooters Girls from wearing their hair curly, while 
permitting white Hooters Girls to do so. 

Farryn Johnson began working as a Hooters Girl at the Baltimore Harborplace Hooters restaurant in 
September 2012. On June 30, 2013, Ms. Johnson arrived at work with blond highlights in her hair. Manager 
Dave Dobrinski told Ms. Johnson that she could not have blond highlights because it did not look "natural" on 
an African-American woman. That same day, General Manager Tim Ashby issued Ms. Johnson an 
Employee Counseling Report, attached as Exhibit A, as a first written warning related to her hair color. 
• (continued on attached page) 



I want this charge filed with both the EEOC and the State or local Agency, if any. f 
will advise Ihe agencies if I change my address or phone number and I will 
cooperate fully with them in the processing of my charge in accordance with their 
procedures, 



I declare under penalty of perjury that the abovejs^ 



OCT 2 1 



Date 



Charging Petty Signature 




N OTARY - When necessary for State and Local Agency Requirements 



I swear or affirm that I have read the above charge and that it is true to 
the best of my knowledge. Information and belief, 

SIGNATURE OF COMPLAINANT 



SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE Ml THIS DATE 
{month, day, year) 



INTAKE, 



EEOC Form 5 (11/09) 



Charge of Discrimination 


Charge Presented To: 


Agency(ies) Charge No(s): 


This form is affected by the Privacy Act of 1 974. See enclosed Privacy Act 
Statement and other information before completing this form. 


\X\ FEPA 
| | EEOC 




Maryland Commission on Civil Rights 


and EEOC 


State or local Agency, if any 



THE PARTICULARS ARE (If additional paper is needed, attach extra sheet(s)): 



Page 2 of 3 

Mr. Ashby gave Ms. Johnson six weeks to change her hair color. 

Although Hooters claimed that Ms. Johnson's hair color violated employee image standards, it permitted non- 
African-American Hooters Girls to dye their hair colors that were significantly different from their natural hair 
colors. For example, Hooters permitted Carroll Tran, an Asian-American former employee with naturally 
black hair, to work with her hair dyed red. Hooters also permitted Briana Swilling, a white employee with 
naturally dark brown hair, to work with the tips of her hair dyed red and blond. Paris (last name unknown), a 
white former Hooters Girls with naturally dark brown hair regularly worked with her hair dyed red and had no 
issues with management over her hair color. Similarly, Leanna Davis, another white employee with naturally 
brown hair, has her hair dyed black with blond streaks, but has not been disciplined by Hooters' 
management. 



The only other employees who have been disciplined because of their hair have been African-American 
women. Management told Tasia Talbert, an African-American former Hooters Girl at the Inner Harbor 
Hooters, to remove blond highlights from her hair and to stop wearing her hair curly (white women were 
permitted to wear their hair curly to work). Management also told another current African-American Hooters 
Giri to straighten her hair and not come to work with curly hair. Hooters management disciplined this current 
employee when she came to work with curly hair on a few occasions. 

Because Ms. Johnson could not afford to have her hair color changed, she continued to report to work with 
biond highlights in her hair. In July 2013, Mr. Ashby again warned Ms. Johnson that she needed to change 
her hair color because it was "not natural." He told Ms. Johnson that Hooters' policy required employees to 
keep their hair color within two shades darker or lighter than their natural hair color. Ms. Johnson brought up 
two white employees, Paris and Ms. Davis, who had their hair dyed colors outside of this supposed "two- 
shades" rule. Yet Mr. Ashby dismissed these comparisons, stating that Paris's dyed red hair was acceptable 
because there were not many natural red heads in the world and that they simply were not talking about Ms. 
Davis. Ms. Johnson asked if she was prohibited from having blond coloring in her hair because she is black, 
and Mr. Ashby answered affirmatively. 

On Monday, August 12, 2013, Mr. Ashby issued Ms. Johnson a second written warning and sent Ms, 
Johnson home before her scheduled shift was about to start. He told her that she could not return to work 
until she changed her hair color. When Ms. Johnson asked him if he could consult with the corporate office 
about his decision, he told her that he already had and that this was why he was not permitting her to work 
her shift. Later that week, on her scheduled day, Ms. Johnson called Mr. Ashby to ask if she could return to 
work. Mr. Ashby again told her she could not work until she changed her hair color. On Tuesday, August 20, 
2013, Ms. Johnson attempted to return to work, but Mr. Ashby sent her home. 

(continued on attached page) 



I want this charge filed with both the EEOC and the State or local Agency, if any. I 
will advise the agencies if i change my address or phone number and I will 
cooperate fully with them in the processing of my charge in accordance with their 
procedures, 


NOTARY - When necessary for State and Local Agency Requirements 


I swear or affirm that I have read the above charge and that it is true to 
the best of my knowledge, information and belief. 
SIGNATURE OF COMPLAINANT 

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME THIS DATE 
(month, day, year) 


I declare under penalty of perjury that the above is true and correct. 


Date Charging Party Signature 



EEOC Form 5 (11/09) 



Charge of Discrimination 


Charge Presented To: 


Agency(ies) Charge No(s): 


This form Is affected by the Privacy Act of 1974. See enclosed Privacy Act 
Statement and other information before completing this form. 


[X] FEPA 
| | EEOC 




Maryland Commission on Civil Rights 


and EEOC 


Stale or local Agency, if any 



THE PARTICULARS ARE (If additional paper is needed, attach extra sheet(s)); 



Page 3 of 3 

When Ms. Johnson attempted to return to work on Friday, August 23, with blond highlights still in her hair, 
Mr. Ashby issued her an Employee Counseling Report terminating her employment, attached as Exhibit B. 
According to the report, Hooters terminated Ms. Johnson because of her "improper image." 

Because Hooters permits non-African-American women with their hair dyed colors vastly different from their 
natural hair colors to work as Hooters Girls, I believe Hooters only deemed my hair color "improper" because 
I am an African-American woman. I was discharged because Hooters imposes different and more restrictive 
beauty standards on African-American women than it does on women of other races. 

I solemnly affirm under the penalty of perjury that the contents of the foregoing paper are true to the best of 
my knowledge, information, and belief. 



I want this charge filed with both the EEOC and the State or local Agency, if any. I 
will advise the agencies if I change my address or phone number and I will 
cooperate fully with them in the processing of my charge in accordance with their 
procedures. 



I declare under penalty of perjury that the above is true and correct. 



Date 



Charging Party Signature 



NOTARY - When necessary for State and Local Agency Requirements 



I swear or affirm that I have read the above charge and that it is true to 
the best of my knowledge, information and belief. 
SIGNATURE OF COMPLAINANT 



SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME THIS DATE 
{month, day, year)